At a pre-CES press-only reception at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Boost Case -- a manufacturer of iPhone 4 battery extenders -- announced the release of its newest battery extender, the modular design of which is patent pending.
As can be seen in the embedded video below, Boost's new design involves a two-piece case. One piece is a case that stays on the iPhone 4 or 4s all the time, forming a protective barrier for the device. The other piece includes a 1900 milliampere (mA) battery can be optionally snapped onto the first piece. The idea is that once the battery module is depleted, the user can either remove it from the iPhone to reduce the overall dimensions and weight of the device or he or she can swap in an additional (and previously charged) battery module. The implication is that a user can carry spare battery modules to make sure that their iPhone 4/4s stays powered through the day.
Boost creative director James Requa claims that the 1900 mA will afford users about twice the usage they'd normally get out of an "unboosted" iPhone. But Requa was also careful to explain how mileage will vary. It largely depends on how hard the user pushes their iPhone in average daily usage. For example, users who are constantly listening to music, making phone calls, browsing the Web, posting to Facebook, and texting friends are going to burn through their batteries much more quickly than someone who does little more than make and receive a few phone calls over the course of a day.
Given the modular design, users can not only buy extra batteries separately, they can buy them in a variety of colors as well. The base case is also available in a variety of colors making it possible for users to mix and match.
The aforementioned patent was significant to Boost as well. In a comparison of battery-boosting cases that was recently published by BYTE (one of InformationWeek's sister sites), BYTE editorial director Larry Seltzer discovered that at least two other cases from other manufacturers were identical to the first generation case from Boost. In the embedded video, Requa explained that the company he selected to manufacture that first generation case stole the design and resold it -- unchanged -- to other distributors under different brands. Requa says that Boost learned its lesson with the first generation case and that by seeking a patent on the new modular design, Boost won't fall victim to the same sort of hijacking that happened during the first go around.
The complete package from Boost costs $79.95. The case alone is $34.95.